Perhaps in honor of Valentine’s Day, Reel Deal columnist Lindsey Lucas could resist giving her crappie a little kiss.
Fishing with her Dad, Kody (left), and CrappieNOW publisher Dan Dannenmueller, they found some cold winter crappie.
Quick and Easy Winter Crappie
by Lindsey Lucas
It’s that time of the year. As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is in the air. But beware if your significant other is a crappie angler because February can be one of the best times to go fishing for some big slabs. Grab your friends and family but make sure to tell them to bundle up. It won’t be the warmest times but the time sure will be worth it.
In southern climates, February is the month crappie begin their migration from the deeper haunts they use in hard winter, and prepare to move to the shallow water because the spawn is on its way.
Even though both male and female fish will go to the shallow waters, the males will go there first. Experts say crappie size isn’t really an indicator of gender. But in my experience, male crappie tend be bigger and fatter, especially in late winter and early Spring.
Lure color matters, but not so much because of water temperature. It’s more about water color.
I prefer a yellow, white, orange, or chartreuse jig – colors that reflect more light than the others. As for jig size, in cold water smaller is almost always better. Fish it slowly because cold water crappie don’t want to chase their food.
Think about it, if you were a fish and in cold water, would you want to have to chase your food or would you prefer it just to come in front of your face to easily bite it?
If jigs don’t really tend to work due to the weather or you have some very picky crappie you can always go to live bait. Every time I’ve used a minnow, no matter the time of year, it has always worked for me. Minnows are also easier for kids to use; live bait is always going to be better than any fake bait.
I truly hope these short quick tips help you, your kids, your friends, or just anyone you bring out, with catching some good winter crappie.